Storage vendor Emulex has unveiled a revamped channel program aimed at recruiting resellers and boosting sales.

Craig Skelton, director of channel sales, EMEA, said the vendor sees the channel becoming a bigger and bigger part of the deal for decisions on host connectivity. So they want to grow the channel they currently work with.

“We have had a channel program for the past six years, but it was basically an information service for VARs. But now we are formalizing everything we do into the program and bringing it onto a Web-based system. Previously, we had a restricted Web site, but now it’s open to all our VARs so they can interact with it,” Skelton said.

The program now includes deal registration, demo equipment, trade ins and marketing development funds, he added.

The program will also be tiered with Silver, Gold and Platinum levels.

“Any VAR can be at the Silver level, but for Gold and Platinum we require a revenue commitment and business plans and to know the technology infrastructure of the solution provider. In return, they get higher rebates and marketing funding, although all solution providers get deal registration.”

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He said between 30 percent and 40 percent of the vendor’s business is through the channel, with a large OEM business running alongside it. “This will get higher. Globally, we have about 1,700 resellers that are active and we want the program to extend our reach and get form from those existing partners.”

Jason Rabbetts, managing director of United Kingdom-based solution provider Union Solutions, said, “A huge amount of Emulex’s business is OEM, so I don’t think this is a strategy of trying to take all of its business to end-users through the channel. It is obviously looking to leverage its more interesting technology, such as the integration with VMware, through the channel.

“However, it is difficult to see how a huge proportion of Emulex’s business will be surging to resellers, even though the technology is good and it has a dominant market share. I am not sure how much attention solution providers pay to the Emulex brand when it is a component and won’t make up that much of their overall revenue.”